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Poster: dimitriskats Date: Oct 8, 2009 12:54am
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Copyright exists -- Free 20s Jazz Collection

Thanks for answering. "Too good to be true" still holds!

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Poster: Stephen Banham Date: Nov 19, 2009 12:23am
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Copyright exists -- Free 20s Jazz Collection

Damn. I'm an Australian guy and was hoping to use a fair bit of "public domain" stuff from this site in a feature-film I am making, but it looks like I'll need to see a lawyer and find out how much these suckers will cost :(

When will history and culture stop being owned by individuals and companies?!

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 19, 2009 12:52am
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Copyright exists -- Free 20s Jazz Collection

As long as history and culture are commercially exploitable copyright will continue to be extended. In the US, full-term copyrights should expire annually bringing a new year into the public domain at the begining of each new year. In the last 31 years the copyrights of only 2 years have entered the public domain. All works published in 1921 entered the public domain on 1 Jan 1978 the same date that existing full term copyrights were extended from 56 to 75 years. 1922's works entered the public domain on 1 Jan 1998. Then the 20 year "Bono" extension was brought in. 1923's are due to enter the PD on 1 Jan 2019. What's the bet that 1924's don't go PD until 2040? If all these extensions didn't happen, all 1953 copyrights would be expiring this year. And it would be 1981's works if they never added the renewal period.

If your using music tracks in a film in Australia and the recording is from 1954 or before and the composer and lyricist died before 1954 its PD and fine to synchronise. You just have to watch online and overseas distribution. We have also got rule of the shorter term so if the composition is PD in the US (pre-1923 or 1923-1963 and not renewed) it is PD in Australia. But that can get complicated because musical arrangements can be protected for as a new composition and you needed good documented copyright research to get insurance.

There are some copyright clearance places that will do the due dilligence research and certification so you can get indemnity insurance, which is usually a lot cheaper than licencing. Australian copyright law is pretty balanced in terms of penalties too. The penalties for falsely pusuing "copyright violations" in PD works are almost the same as for copyright infringement itself. That can be an advantage and gives some leverage if someone threatens court action. You can get an injunction from the court to stop false claims in their tracks.

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Poster: Stephen Banham Date: Nov 19, 2009 5:31pm
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Copyright exists -- Free 20s Jazz Collection

Thank you SO much for you informative response!

Just a couple questions:
Are you saying these copyright houses just insure you in case you get sued, but then you can go to town? Can you point me in the direction of any? And would that just be coverage for within Australia?

Also what was the "Bono" extension?
Are you Australian?

Once again thanks you SO much and keep on rockin' in the un-free copyright-controlled world!

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 19, 2009 8:41pm
Forum: 78rpm Subject: Re: Copyright exists -- Free 20s Jazz Collection

The copyright clearance places just do the research and certification. But you can also do your own research if you document it. You usually have to get two records showing the composers date of death and the works publication date. Scans of newpaper obits and Birth, Deaths and Marriages records usually does the job. Most of this stuff is online or at the local library on mcrofilm. The scans of the US copyright registries in the Texts section of IA can be used as evidence of publication for US works from before 1923.

There used to be a research and clearances service for film called InSynch. I think they have been sold off but if you google "copyright clearance" you should find something.

The insurance comes from an insurer. Most Australian insurers have a IP and copyright claims option in Professional Indemnity Insurance. You can bundle copyright and public liabilty (and sometimes completion) into the one policy. Some policies cover you for everywhere but charge a little extra for North American coverage.

The 'Bono' Extension was last US 20 Year copyright extension from 1998. It was named after Sonny Bono who had instigated the legislation in the early 90s. It extended the full term copyright for US works made before 1978 from 75 years to 95 years.

I am from Australia. I own one of the last few public domain movie collections that hasn't been bought out by the copyright industry.